Voices is the Op-Ed and personal essay section of The Georgetown Voice. It features the real narratives of diverse students from nearly every corner on campus, seeking to tell some of the incredibly important and yet oft-unheard stories that affect life in and out of Georgetown.
In my search for Georgetown’s better qualities, I like to remember why I chose to come here in the first place. While I was impressed by the gothic beauty of Healy Hall and the bright colors of the front lawn’s tulips, what I remember most about my first visit to the Hilltop is the people.
But this standard, American way of bonding can be inherently exclusionary in nature. Those who didn’t grow up watching movies certainly wouldn’t have a vast library of films to reference, which comes at the danger of being labeled “uncultured.” Yet, this apparent unculturedness only manifests when viewed through a traditional American lens—perhaps failing to adhere to American cultural expectations doesn’t suggest a lack of culture, but a different one altogether.
There was no support group to rely on, no therapy I could access, and a blatant disregard for rape, sexual assault and survivorship. Dreams of safety and freedom in my new home at Georgetown quickly faded away.
What happened to the movie intermission? Where did they go, those 10-15 minute breaks in films when the lights would rise and you could (finally) debrief the first half with your friends? Today, when you watch an old film with a built-in intermission, it feels like a relic from an era when actors spoke with mid-Atlantic accents and the credits rolled at the start of the movie.
There are certainly benefits to visually dividing up one’s day in color coordinating blocks and receiving phone notifications of events, and I fully utilize the service to keep track of myriad life happenings. But the way Georgetown students use it is borderline obsessive, perhaps straight up deviant.
The problem is, people seem to think that for our family to be happy, we must have the experiences a typical family would have. But the reality is, my grandmother’s dementia isn’t going anywhere. It’s an illness that will only continue to get worse, and as a family we are limited by our responsibility to her. But that doesn’t mean we don’t find joy. Our joy simply deviates from the norm. It exists despite the coexistence of hardship.
The weapon of authoritarianism is fear, deriving its power from coercion rather than public will. Thus, to a tyrant, there are no bigger obstacles than joy and hope. Joy is a direct affront to ambitions for a regime of terror and control. To them, joy is an act of rebellion, and to us, it is resilience against the steepest odds because it reminds us we are human. It makes our humanity undeniable to people who wish to deny it.
I contend that being open to the idea that our sexuality can and may change can reduce queer (and perhaps even straight) people’s anxiety surrounding their sexual identity and encourage them to live their most authentic selves without fear of alienation.
Antisemitism and anti-Zionism are linked, and the former certainly can be present in the latter, but it is not always. In fact, assertions that the two are inherently synonymous are themselves antisemitic.
Vocal, visible public opposition to the proposed policy is imperative. The proposal is currently in its public comment period, which will expire on March 27th. During this period, any member of the public can submit a statement with their thoughts on the proposed policy.
“Gifted kid burnout,” however, is an internet term coined by Gen Z in recent years. Plainly put, it refers to students who were placed in advanced-level classes early in their educational careers, only to discover that they can’t maintain the same degree of academic excellence as they get older. They’ve been straight-A students all their life, their personalities slotting perfectly into the spot at the top of the class. But mediocrity crept up on them, until they feel like they have failed their past selves.
Though history best remembers Albright as a pioneering politician in a previously exclusively male role, she always said, “I am sometimes known as secretary, but most of all, I like being known as professor.” Thus, Georgetown should erect a statue of Albright in order to honor her contributions to higher education at the Hilltop, global politics, and, most importantly, her advocacy for women’s and refugee’s rights.
However, the real problem is not overstudying on an individual level; it’s the culture that idolizes productivity. When work for work’s sake is valued over a healthy lifestyle, students feel pressured to perform and guilty for not meeting the standard. Mental health issues, exhaustion, and taxing workloads become trophies of success.
Ultimately, we have lost track of what it means to spend valuable time with other people. Networking culture governs the way that we make plans, spend money, and converse; its format is designed to keep potential close friends at arm’s length by limiting interactions to annual catch-ups and coffee.
Being a tour guide means generally presenting Georgetown positively to visitors. But as three guides of color, we often tiptoe between spouting the information the Office of Undergraduate Admissions wants us to share and acknowledging our lived experiences beyond the brochures.
The Corp’s institutional design favors—and will continue to favor—the status quo over true, progressive changes.
Supermodel Bella Hadid left very little of her svelte figure to the imagination as she walked the runway in a dress spray-painted upon her nearly naked body for Paris Fashion Week last October. The message is clear: Big asses and boobs are out, protruding collar bones and wrist bones are in.